Since 2010, EMC Southern Africa’s support of the Cancer Association of South Africa has been growing – and this pattern looks set to continue as the company prepares to once again participate in the daunting Coronation Double Century Cycle Challenge.
The Double Century is a gruelling 202 kilometre race, ridden in one day, which starts and finishes in the historic Karoo town of Swellendam in the Western Cape. Limited to 250 teams, with up to 12 cyclists competing per team, this cycling event is renowned for its camaraderie and team spirit. The challenging route passes through areas of the Overberg including Montagu, the Tradouw Pass and the tough 7 kilometre Op De Tradouw.
EMC Southern Africa’s participation in the event began in 2010 when Mike Day, the company’s Vodacom account manager in Cape Town, was inspired by a dinner talk given by Lance Armstrong. Motivated to change his lifestyle and start helping those less fortunate than himself, Day undertook to raise money by putting teams together and collecting sponsorships. The funds raised would be donated to the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa).
That year, EMC Southern Africa entered two teams consisting of EMC staff and customers. The result: the company donated R28,000 to Cansa. The loss of EMC Southern Africa Country Manager Inana Nkanza to leukaemia in 2012 provided even greater motivation, with more teams and higher funds being raised every year. In 2013, R82,000 was donated to Cansa.
Servaas Venter, Country Manager of EMC Southern Africa, has participated in three Double Century Cycle Challenges to date. “We are keen for our staff and customers to get involved in this very special event,” he says. “With its emphasis on team effort, the Double Century demonstrates close synergy with our company ethos.”
Leigh-Anne Goldie, Senior Administration Assistant in EMC Southern Africa’s Cape Town office, says: “We were extremely fortunate to receive sponsorship donations from ViPR, BRS, Dimension Data and Stortech, and would like to see this event grow even more. One of our international cyclists, Marc Cheli from EMC Switzerland, also raised sponsorship money. Each sponsor is entitled to have their brand on our cycling shirts, so they receive visibility at the event.
This year, EMC will be entering four teams in the event and are aiming to hand Cansa a cheque for more than R100,000. Once again, they will be staying at the Avalon Springs Hotel, Conference Centre and Spa, which has been fantastic about accommodating the cyclists’ needs over the years. They even provide breakfast packs at 3:30am when the teams leave for Swellendam.